A ROBOT taxi operator, who allegedly raped a 17-year-old girl in Hopewell, Hanover, on Thursday, leaving her badly traumatised and in a state of anguish, is now being sought by the police.
“We are aware of the incident but we are not able to provide much detail, except to say that we know the accused man and we are making every effort to locate him,” a police officer, who is familiar with the incident, told The Gleaner. “The victim has received medical attention and needless to say, she is badly traumatised at this time,” he divulged.
According to reports, shortly after 8 p.m. the teenager was walking in the community when the robot taxi operator pulled up alongside her and she got into the vehicle. Upon reaching her destination, the man reportedly refused to let her out of the car and drove to a section of the Bethel Primary School compound, where he raped her. She subsequently reported the matter to the police.
While western Jamaica has been in the news as the epicentre for murders and shootings, the incidents of rape have also been very high on the region’s crime radar.
“It is a major issue and is not something that should be slighted, albeit that the murders and the shootings have been grabbing the spotlight,” a police officer told The Gleaner. “Once it reaches certain hours of the evening or night, our young ladies need to travel in small groups and should avoid robot taxis, especially if the driver is the only person in the car.”
In an incident in St James, last month, another teenager was allegedly abducted and raped by a taxi operator, who had reportedly won her confidence and got her to accompany him on several errands. However, in the end, he reportedly deceived her into following him to his house, where he allegedly brandished a knife and forced her inside. She was reportedly raped multiple times as he held her against her will for several hours.
The young woman managed to gain access to her cellular phone, which she used to send a text message to a relative, telling them of her ordeal. The relatives reported the matter to the police and the teen and her abductor were subsequently tracked down and found.
Arising from that incident, 26-year-old Tevon ‘Teejay’ Binns, taxi operator of Primrose Road in Rosemount, in Montego Bay, was arrested and charged with abduction and rape. His case is still before the court.
In another incident late last year that attracted significant attention, 48-year-old Paul Rose, a taxi man of Love Lane, in Montego Bay, was stabbed to death after he and his common-law wife got involved in a dispute over allegations he was molesting her teenage daughter.
According to reports, after Rose was released on bail for sexually molesting a 15-year-old girl, who he impregnated, he went to his girlfriend’s house and raped her teenage daughter as well. He was taken into police custody but was later released on bail on the condition that he should not visit his girlfriend’s house.
However, Rose disregarded the bail condition and showed up at his girlfriend’s house and during a dispute was stabbed to death.